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Law Office of William P. Farley, P.C.
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Law Office of William P. Farley, P.C.
William Farley

1350 Connecticut Avenue, NW
Suite 200
Washington DC 20036
(202) 775-1550

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Alt. Phone: (202) 558-6768
Fax: (202) 775-0008


Law Office of William P. Farley, P.C.

Please Call : 202-775-1550


 

A Law Firm Dedicated to the Practice of Criminal Defense and Constitutional Freedoms.

William P. Farley is an experienced and knowledgeable criminal lawyer. The Law Office of William P. Farley, P.C. is located in the District of Columbia. The law firm represents clients throughout the District of Columbia and Maryland, including Montgomery and Prince George’s County.

If you have been injured by the police.  If you want to know how to stay out of trouble or have been charged with driving while intoxicated go to http://www.dccounselor.com/.

If You Have Been Charged With a Crime

You are innocent.  That is the rule in America.  The police have to prove you are guilty - you do not have to prove you are innocent. 

With long prison sentences of up to 30 years, it is not hard to see why there are so many people in prison. In state prisons alone there were 249,400 inmates five years ago and the numbers keep on rising. In federal prison there are approximately 100,000 people serving long drug sentences.

If you don't want to be one of those people in jail - you need an attorney who knows your rights.  Call us at If (202) 558-6768. Toll free (877) 840-0639.

If You Have Been Convicted

If you have been convicted of a crime, you need a lawyer who can prepare your appeal for the best possible outcome.  William Farley is an expert in appeals and he has been awarded the highest possible rating for legal ability and ethical reputation by Martindale-Hubbell.  He earned that rating by working hard to obtain justice for all his clients.  Mr. Farley believes the Constitution was written to protect everyone and no one should their rights taken by the government.  He believes that if you are arrested, you are entitled to all your rights and you will be free if the government did not prove your case at trial.  It does not matter what you were convicted of doing.

Mr. Farley knows that sometimes innocent people are convicted.  When that happens, he ensures that your appeal is put in the best shape to set you free.  No one wants an innocent person in jail. 

Practice Areas

  •  State & Federal Criminal Defense 
  •  DUI / DWI 
  •  Drug-Related Charges  
  •  Manufacturing  
  •  Meth Labs  
  •  Possession
  •  Distribution / Delivery
  •  Murder / Manslaughter 
  •  Assault  
  •  Domestic Violence  
  •  Robbery  
  •  Aggravated Robbery
  •  Burglary  
  •  Conspiracy 
  •  Fraud  
  •  Embezzlement 
  •  Theft  
  •  Shoplifting 

If you need immediate help, call (202) 558-6768.

Please Call : 202-775-1550

Please Call : 202-775-1550

Practice Areas

 

  •  State & Federal Criminal Defense 
  •  DUI / DWI 
  •  Drug-Related Charges  
  •  Manufacturing  
  •  Meth Labs  
  •  Possession
  •  Distribution / Delivery
  •  Murder / Manslaughter 
  •  Assault  
  •  Domestic Violence  
  •  Robbery  
  •  Aggravated Robbery
  •  Burglary  
  •  Conspiracy 
  •  Fraud  
  •  Embezzlement 
  •  Theft  
  •  Shoplifting 

If you need immediate help, call (202) 558-6768.

About Us

If you have been convicted of a crime, you need a lawyer who can prepare your case for the best possible outcome.  William Farley has been awarded the highest possible rating for legal ability and ethical reputation by Martindale-Hubbell.  He earned that rating by working hard to obtain justice for all his clients.  Mr. Farley believes in the Constitution.  He believes that citizens should not be required to give up their rights.  He believes that if you are arrested, you are entitled to all your rights and you should be free if the government can not prove your case.

Mr. Farley knows that sometimes innocent people are convicted.  When that happens, he ensures that your appeal is put in the best shape to set you free.  No one wants an innocent person in jail.

Firm Profile

The firms number one goal is to give clients the legal services and respect they deserve.  All phone calls and emails are answered promptly.

The firm specializes in appeals.  This requires an deep understanding of the Constitution and other laws. 

If you only have one chance of being vindicated, call William P. Farley at (202) 558-6768.  Toll Free (877) 840-0639.

Crimes

There are more than 1.5 million people currently locked up in American jails. If you have been charged with a crime, you will need a lawyer to guide you through the system.

Due to harsh new sentencing guidelines, such as Three-strikes, You're Out, rule, states will absorb the staggering cost of not only constructing additional prisons to accommodate increasing numbers of prisoners who will never be released but also warehousing those prisoners into old age. It has been estimated that the cost of caring for an elderly prisoner with nursing care is about $75,000 a year - per inmate.

You need a lawyer so you don’t end up as a statistic.

If you have been arrested, you need to know what the government has to prove to convict you. First, if you follow the section Legal Tips you will probably be in better shape than most defendants.

In order to have you labeled as a convict for the rest of your life, the government has to show beyond a reasonable doubt every part of a crime. If not, you walk free and your reputation is restored.

In the District of Columbia a reasonable doubt is a doubt for which you have a reason based upon the evidence or lack of evidence in the case. So your lawyer must show the jury that the evidence shows you are innocent or the lack of evidence makes it impossible to prove your guilt.

 
Pick a topic below:

D.C. Theft Statutes

D.C. Drug Offenses
 

 


D.C. Theft Statutes


Chapter 32. Theft; Fraud; Stolen Property; Forgery; and Extortion.

(1) "Appropriate" means to take or make use of without authority or right.

(2) "Deprive" means:

(A) To withhold property or cause it to be withheld from a person permanently or for so extended a period or under such circumstances as to acquire a substantial portion of its value; or

(B) To dispose of the property, or use or deal with the property so as to make it unlikely that the owner will recover it.

(3) "Property" means anything of value. The term "property" includes, but is not limited to:

(A) Real property, including things growing on, affixed to, or found on land;

(B) Tangible or intangible personal property; and

(C) Services.

(4) "Property of another" means any property in which a government or a person other than the accused has an interest which the accused is not privileged to interfere with or infringe upon without consent, regardless of whether the accused also has an interest in that property. The term "property of another" includes the property of a corporation or other legal entity established pursuant to an interstate compact. The term "property of another" does not include any property in the possession of the accused as to which any other person has only a security interest.

(5) "Services" includes, but is not limited to:

(A) Labor, whether professional or nonprofessional;

(B) The use of vehicles or equipment;

(C) Transportation, telecommunications, energy, water, sanitation, or other public utility services, whether provided by a private or governmental entity;

(D) The supplying of food, beverage, lodging, or other accommodation in hotels, restaurants, or elsewhere;

(E) Admission to public exhibitions or places of entertainment; and

(F) Educational and hospital services, accommodations, and other related services.

(6) "Stolen property" includes any property that has been obtained by conduct previously known as embezzlement.


§ 22-3202. Aggregation of amounts received to determine grade of offense.


Amounts received pursuant to a single scheme or systematic course of conduct in violation of § 22-3211 (Theft), § 22-3221 (Fraud), or § 22-3223 (Credit Card Fraud) may be aggregated in determining the grade of the offense and the sentence for the offense, except that with respect to credit card fraud only amounts received within a consecutive 7-day period may be aggregated.


§ 22-3203. Consecutive sentences.


No person shall be consecutively sentenced for the same act or course of conduct for the following:

(1) Theft and fraud;

(2) Theft and unauthorized use of a vehicle;

(3) Theft and commercial piracy;

(4) Identity theft and theft; or

(5) Identity theft and fraud.


Subchapter II. Theft; Related Offenses. (Refs & Annos)


§ 22-3211. Theft.


(a) For the purpose of this section, the term "wrongfully obtains or uses" means: (1) taking or exercising control over property; (2) making an unauthorized use, disposition, or transfer of an interest in or possession of property; or (3) obtaining property by trick, false pretense, false token, tampering, or deception. The term "wrongfully obtains or uses" includes conduct previously known as larceny, larceny by trick, larceny by trust, embezzlement, and false pretenses.


(b) A person commits the offense of theft if that person wrongfully obtains or uses the property of another with intent:


(1) To deprive the other of a right to the property or a benefit of the property; or

(2) To appropriate the property to his or her own use or to the use of a third person.


(c) In cases in which the theft of property is in the form of services, proof that a person obtained services that he or she knew or had reason to believe were available to him or her only for compensation and that he or she departed from the place where the services were obtained knowing or having reason to believe that no payment had been made for the services rendered in circumstances where payment is ordinarily made immediately upon the rendering of the services or prior to departure from the place where the services are obtained, shall be prima facie evidence that the person had committed the offense of theft.


§ 22-3212. Penalties for theft.

(a) Theft in the first degree. -- Any person convicted of theft in the first degree shall be fined not more than $5,000 or imprisoned for not more than 10 years, or both, if the value of the property obtained or used is $250 or more.


(b) Theft in the second degree. -- Any person convicted of theft in the second degree shall be fined not more than $1,000 or imprisoned for not more than 180 days, or both, if the value of the property obtained or used is less than $250.


§ 22-3213. Shoplifting.


(a) A person commits the offense of shoplifting if, with intent to appropriate without complete payment any personal property of another that is offered for sale or with intent to defraud the owner of the value of the property, that person:


(1) Knowingly conceals or takes possession of any such property;

(2) Knowingly removes or alters the price tag, serial number, or other identification mark that is imprinted on or attached to such property; or

(3) Knowingly transfers any such property from the container in which it is displayed or packaged to any other display container or sales package.


(b) Any person convicted of shoplifting shall be fined not more than $300 or imprisoned for not more than 90 days, or both.


(c) It is not an offense to attempt to commit the offense described in this section.


(d) A person who offers tangible personal property for sale to the public, or an employee or agent of such a person, who detains or causes the arrest of a person in a place where the property is offered for sale shall not be held liable for detention, false imprisonment, malicious prosecution, defamation, or false arrest, in any proceeding arising out of such detention or arrest, if:


(1) The person detaining or causing the arrest had, at the time thereof, probable cause to believe that the person detained or arrested had committed in that person's presence, an offense described in this section;

(2) The manner of the detention or arrest was reasonable;
(3) Law enforcement authorities were notified within a reasonable time; and

(4) The person detained or arrested was released within a reasonable time of the detention or arrest, or was surrendered to law enforcement authorities within a reasonable time.


§ 22-3214. Commercial piracy.


(a) For the purpose of this section, the term:


(1) "Owner", with respect to phonorecords or copies, means the person who owns the original fixation of the property involved or the exclusive licensee in the United States of the rights to reproduce and distribute to the public phonorecords or copies of the original fixation. In the case of a live performance the term "owner" means the performer or performers.

(2) "Proprietary information" means customer lists, mailing lists, formulas, recipes, computer programs, unfinished designs, unfinished works of art in any medium, process, program, invention, or any other information, the primary commercial value of which may diminish if its availability is not restricted.

(3) "Phonorecords" means material objects in which sounds, other than those accompanying a motion picture or other audiovisual work, are fixed by any method now known or later developed, and from which the sounds can be perceived, reproduced, or otherwise communicated, either directly or with the aid of a machine or device. The term "phonorecords" includes the material object in which the sounds are first fixed.


(b) A person commits the offense of commercial piracy if, with the intent to sell, to derive commercial gain or advantage, or to allow another person to derive commercial gain or advantage, that person reproduces or otherwise copies, possesses, buys, or otherwise obtains phonorecords of a sound recording, live performance, or copies of proprietary information, knowing or having reason to believe that the phonorecord or copies were made without the consent of the owner. A presumption of the requisite intent arises if the accused possesses 5 or more unauthorized phonorecords either of the same sound recording or recording of a live performance.


(c) Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit:


(1) Copying or other reproduction that is in the manner specifically permitted by Title 17 of the United States Code; or

(2) Copying or other reproduction of a sound recording that is made by a licensed radio or television station or a cable broadcaster solely for broadcast or archival use.


(d) Any person convicted of commercial piracy shall be fined not more than $1,000 or imprisoned for not more than 180 days, or both.


(e) This section does not apply to any sound recording initially fixed on or after February 15, 1972.


§ 22-3214.01. Deceptive labeling.


(a) For the purposes of this section, the term:


(1) "Audiovisual works" means material objects upon which are fixed a series of related images which are intrinsically intended to be shown by the use of machines or devices such as projectors, viewers, or electronic equipment, now known or later developed, together with accompanying sounds, if any, regardless of the nature of the material objects, such as films or tapes, in which the works are embodied.

(2) "Manufacturer" means the person who authorizes or causes the copying, fixation, or transfer of sounds or images to sound recordings or audiovisual works subject to this section.

(3) "Sound recordings" means material objects in which sounds, other than those accompanying a motion picture or other audiovisual work, are fixed by any method now known or later developed, and from which the sounds can be perceived, reproduced, or otherwise communicated, either directly or with the aid of a machine or device.


(b) A person commits the offense of deceptive labeling if, for commercial advantage or private financial gain, that person knowingly advertises, offers for sale, resale, or rental, or sells, resells, rents, distributes, or transports, or possesses for such purposes, a sound recording or audiovisual work, the label, cover, or jacket of which does not clearly and conspicuously disclose the true name and address of the manufacturer thereof.


(c) Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit:


(1) Any broadcaster who, in connection with, or as part of, a radio or television broadcast transmission, or for the purposes of archival preservation, transfers any sounds or images recorded on a sound recording or audiovisual work; or

(2) Any person who, in his own home, for his own personal use, and without deriving any commercial advantage or private financial gain, transfers any sounds or images recorded on a sound recording or audiovisual work.


(d)(1) Any person convicted of deceptive labeling involving less than 1,000 sound recordings or less than 100 audiovisual works during any 180-day period shall be fined not more than $10,000 or imprisoned for not more than 1 year, or both.


(2) Any person convicted of deceptive labeling involving 1,000 or more sound recordings or 100 or more audiovisual works during a 180-day period shall be fined not more than $50,000 or imprisoned for not more than 5 years, or both.


(e) Upon conviction under this section, the court shall, in addition to the penalties provided by this section, order the forfeiture and destruction or other disposition of all sound recordings, audiovisual works, and equipment used, or attempted to be used, in violation of this section.


§ 22-3214.02. Unlawful operation of a recording device in a motion picture theater.


(a) For the purposes of this section, the term:


(1) "Motion picture theater" means a theater or other auditorium in which a motion picture is exhibited.

(2) "Recording device" means a photographic or video camera, audio or video recorder, or any other device not existing, or later developed, which may be used for recording sounds or images.


(b) A person commits the offense of unlawfully operating a recording device in a motion picture theater if, without authority or permission from the owner of a motion picture theater, or his or her agent, that person operates a recording device within the premises of a motion picture theater.


(c) Any person convicted of unlawfully operating a recording device in a motion picture theater shall be fined not more than $300 or imprisoned for not more than 90 days, or both.


(d) A theater owner, or an employee or agent of a theater owner, who detains or causes the arrest of a person in, or immediately adjacent to, a motion picture theater shall not be held liable for detention, false imprisonment, malicious prosecution, defamation, or false arrest in any proceeding arising out of such detention or arrest, if:


(1) The person detaining or causing the arrest had, at the time thereof, probable cause to believe that the person detained or arrested had committed, or attempted to commit, in that person's presence, an offense described in this section;

(2) The manner of the detention or arrest was reasonable;

(3) Law enforcement authorities were notified within a reasonable time; and

(4) The person detained or arrested was released within a reasonable time of the detention or arrest, or was surrendered to law enforcement authorities within a reasonable time.


§ 22-3215. Unauthorized use of motor vehicles.


(a) For the purposes of this section, the term "motor vehicle" means any automobile, self-propelled mobile home, motorcycle, truck, truck tractor, truck tractor with semitrailer or trailer, or bus.


(b) A person commits the offense of unauthorized use of a motor vehicle under this subsection if, without the consent of the owner, that person takes, uses, operates, or removes or causes to be taken, used, operated, or removed, a motor vehicle from a garage, other building, or from any place or locality on a public or private highway, park, parkway, street, lot, field, enclosure, or space, and operates or drives or causes the motor vehicle to be operated or driven for his or her own profit, use, or purpose.


(c)(1) A person commits the offense of unauthorized use of a motor vehicle under this subsection if, after renting, leasing, or using a motor vehicle under a written agreement which provides for the return of the motor vehicle to a particular place at a specified time, that person knowingly fails to return the motor vehicle to that place (or to any authorized agent of the party from whom the motor vehicle was obtained under the agreement) within 18 days after written demand is made for its return, if the conditions set forth in paragraph (2) of this subsection are met.


(2) The conditions referred to in paragraph (1) of this subsection are as follows:

(A) The written agreement under which the motor vehicle is obtained contains the following statement: "WARNING -- Failure to return this vehicle in accordance with the terms of this rental agreement may result in a criminal penalty of up to 3 years in jail". This statement shall be printed clearly and conspicuously in a contrasting color, set off in a box, and signed by the person obtaining the motor vehicle in a space specially provided;

(B) There is displayed clearly and conspicuously on the dashboard of the motor vehicle the following notice: "NOTICE -- Failure to return this vehicle on time may result in serious criminal penalties"; and

(C) The party from whom the motor vehicle was obtained under the agreement makes a written demand for the return of the motor vehicle, either by actual delivery to the person who obtained the motor vehicle, or by deposit in the United States mail of a postpaid registered or certified letter, return receipt requested, addressed to the person at each address set forth in the written agreement or otherwise provided by the person. The written demand shall state clearly that failure to return the motor vehicle may result in prosecution for violation of the criminal law of the District of Columbia punishable by up to 3 years in jail. The written demand shall not be made prior to the date specified in the agreement for the return of the motor vehicle, except that, if the parties or their authorized agents have mutually agreed to some other date for the return of the motor vehicle, then the written demand shall not be made prior to the other date.

(3) This subsection shall not apply in the case of a motor vehicle obtained under a retail installation contract as defined in § 50-601(9).

(4) It shall be a defense in any criminal proceeding brought under this subsection that a person failed to return a motor vehicle for causes beyond his or her control. The burden of raising and going forward with the evidence with respect to such a defense shall be on the person asserting it. In any case in which such a defense is raised, evidence that the person obtained the motor vehicle by reason of any false statement or representation of material fact, including a false statement or representation regarding his or her name, residence, employment, or operator's license, shall be admissible to determine whether the failure to return the motor vehicle was for causes beyond his or her control.


(d)(1) Any person convicted of unauthorized use of a motor vehicle under subsection (b) of this section shall be fined not more than $1,000 or imprisoned for not more than 5 years, or both.


(2) Any person convicted of unauthorized use of a motor vehicle under subsection (c) of this section shall be fined not more than $1,000 or imprisoned for not more than 3 years, or both.


§ 22-3216. Taking property without right.


A person commits the offense of taking property without right if that person takes and carries away the property of another without right to do so. A person convicted of taking property without right shall be fined not more than $300 or imprisoned for not more than 90 days, or both.


Subchapter II-A. Theft of Utility Service.


§ 22-3218.01. Definitions.


For the purposes of this subchapter, the term:


(1) "Company" means a person or enterprise engaged in the generation or distribution of natural gas or electricity.

(2) "Person" means any individual, corporation, company, association, firm, partnership, joint stock company, or other entity.


§ 22-3218.02. Unlawful acts.


Unless a person shall be authorized, or employed by, a company engaged in the generation or distribution of natural gas or electricity, a person shall not willfully connect or disconnect an electrical conductor belonging to the company; make any connection with an electrical conductor for the purpose of using or wasting the electric current or gas; tamper with a meter used to register gas or current consumed; interfere with the operation of an electrical or gas appliance of the company; or tamper, or interfere, with the poles, wires, or conduits used by the company. Nothing in this section shall prevent the lawful governmental regulation of gas or electric companies or electricity suppliers, or their conductors, appliances, machinery, and poles.


§ 22-3218.03. Presumptions and rebuttal evidence.


(a) The presence of a connection, wire, conductor, meter alteration, or any device which effects the diversion of electric current or gas without the current or gas being measured or registered by or on a meter installed by a company engaged in the generation or distribution of electricity or natural gas, whether on a single property or within a multiple-unit building or complex, shall constitute prima facie evidence of intent to violate § 22- 3218.02.


(b) If a check or test meter installed or employed by a company engaged in the generation or distribution of electricity or natural gas shows that a person is using a larger amount of electricity than is registered on the meter installed by the company on the person's premises for the purpose of registering the natural gas or electricity used by the person, and the company has verified that the meter is not malfunctioning, it shall constitute prima facie evidence that the unregistered current or gas has been wrongfully diverted by such person and shall constitute prima facie evidence of intent to violate § 22- 3218.02.


(c) The presumptions created by this section may be rebutted by a preponderance of the evidence to the contrary that the person alleged to have violated § 22-3218a did not do so. If the person in actual possession of the property or unit has not received the direct benefit of the reduction of the cost in electric or gas services, the presumptions created by this section shall apply to the owner of the property or unit; provided, that the owner has received the direct benefit of unregistered services for at least one full billing cycle.


§ 22-3218.04. Penalties for violation.


(a) A person who violates § 22-3218.02 shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and, upon a conviction, shall be imprisoned for not more than 60 days, or fined, not more than $500, or both. In the case of a second or subsequent conviction, a person who violates § 22-3218.02 shall be imprisoned for not more than 180 days, or fined, not more than $1,500, or both.


(b) In addition to the criminal penalties in subsection (a) of this section, a person who is found to have violated § 22-3218.02 in a civil proceeding shall be liable to the company using or engaged in the generation or distribution of electricity or gas for restitution of the amount of any losses or damage sustained.


Subchapter III. Fraud; Related Offenses.


§ 22-3221. Fraud.


(a) Fraud in the first degree. -- A person commits the offense of fraud in the first degree if that person engages in a scheme or systematic course of conduct with intent to defraud or to obtain property of another by means of a false or fraudulent pretense, representation, or promise and thereby obtains property of another or causes another to lose property.


(b) Fraud in the second degree. -- A person commits the offense of fraud in the second degree if that person engages in a scheme or systematic course of conduct with intent to defraud or to obtain property of another by means of a false or fraudulent pretense, representation, or promise.

(c) False promise as to future performance. -- Fraud may be committed by means of false promise as to future performance which the accused does not intend to perform or knows will not be performed. An intent or knowledge shall not be established by the fact alone that one such promise was not performed.


§ 22-3222. Penalties for fraud.


(a) Fraud in the first degree. -- (1) Any person convicted of fraud in the first degree shall be fined not more than $5,000 or 3 times the value of the property obtained or lost, whichever is greater, or imprisoned for not more than 10 years, or both, if the value of the property obtained or lost is $250 or more; and


(2) Any person convicted of fraud in the first degree shall be fined not more than $1,000 or imprisoned for not more than 180 days, or both, if the value of the property obtained or lost was less than $250.


(b) Fraud in the second degree. -- (1) Any person convicted of fraud in the second degree shall be fined not more than $3,000 or 3 times the value of the property which was the object of the scheme or systematic course of conduct, whichever is greater, or imprisoned for not more than 3 years, or both, if the value of the property which was the object of the scheme or systematic course of conduct was $250 or more; and


(2) Any person convicted of fraud in the second degree shall be fined not more than $1,000 or imprisoned for not more than 180 days, or both, if the value of the property which was the object of the scheme or systematic course of conduct was less than $250.


§ 22-3223. Credit card fraud.


(a) For the purpose of this section, the term "credit card" means an instrument or device, whether known as a credit card plate, debit card, or by any other name, issued by a person for use of the cardholder in obtaining property or services.


(b) A person commits the offense of credit card fraud if, with intent to defraud, that person obtains property of another by:


(1) Knowingly using a credit card, or the number or description thereof, which has been issued to another person without the consent of the person to whom it was issued;

(2) Knowingly using a credit card, or the number or description thereof, which has been revoked or cancelled;

(3) Knowingly using a falsified, mutilated, or altered credit card or number or description thereof; or

(4) Representing that he or she is the holder of a credit card and the credit card had not in fact been issued.


(c) A credit card is deemed cancelled or revoked when notice in writing thereof has been received by the named holder as shown on the credit card or by the records of the issuer.


(d)(1) Any person convicted of credit card fraud shall be fined not more than $5,000 or imprisoned for not more than 10 years, or both, if the value of the property obtained is $250 or more.


(2) Any person convicted of credit card fraud shall be fined not more than $1,000 or imprisoned for not more than 180 days, or both, if the value of the property obtained is less than $250.


§ 22-3224. Fraudulent registration.


(a) A person commits the offense of fraudulent registration if, with intent to defraud the proprietor or manager of a hotel, motel, or other establishment which provides lodging to transient guests, that person falsely registers under a name or address other than his or her actual name or address.


(b) Any person convicted of fraudulent registration shall be fined not more than $300 or imprisoned for not more than 90 days, or both.


Subchapter III-A. Insurance Fraud.


§ 22-3225.01. Definitions.


For the purposes of this subchapter, the term:

(1) "Business of insurance" means the writing of insurance or reinsuring the risks by an insurer, including acts necessary or incidental to writing insurance or reinsuring risks and the activities of persons who act as or are officers, directors, agents, or employees of insurers, or who are other persons authorized to act on their behalf.

(2) "Commissioner" means the Commissioner of the Department of Insurance, Securities, and Banking, the Commissioner's designee, or the Department of Insurance, Securities, and Banking.

(3) "District" means the District of Columbia.

(4) "Insurance" means a contract or arrangement in which one undertakes to:

(A) Pay or indemnify another as to loss from certain contingencies called "risks," including through reinsurance;

(B) Pay or grant a specified amount or determinable benefit to another in connection with ascertainable risk contingencies;

(C) Pay an annuity to another; or

(D) Act as a surety.

(5) "Insurance professional" means insurance sales agents or managing general agents, insurance brokers, insurance producers, insurance adjusters, and insurance third party administrators.

(6) "Insurer" includes any company defined by § 31-4202 and § 31-2501.03, authorized to do the business of insurance in the District, a hospital and medical services corporation, a fraternal benefit society, or a health maintenance organization. The term "insurer" shall not apply to a Medicaid health maintenance organization.

(7) "Malice" means an intentional or deliberate infliction of injury, by furnishing or disclosing information with knowledge that the information is false, or furnishing or disclosing information with reckless disregard for a strong likelihood that the information is false and that injury will occur as a result.

(8) "Person" means a natural person, company, corporation, joint stock company, unincorporated association, partnership, professional corporation, trust, or any other entity or combination of the foregoing.

(9) "Practitioner" means a person, licensed to practice a profession or trade in the District, whose services are compensated either in whole or in part, directly or indirectly, by insurance proceeds.

(10) "Premium" means the money paid or payable as the consideration for coverage under an insurance policy.

§ 22-3225.02. Insurance fraud in the first degree.


A person commits the offense of insurance fraud in the first degree if that person knowingly engages in the following conduct with the intent to defraud or to fraudulently obtain property of another and thereby obtains property of another or causes another to lose property and the value of the property obtained or lost is $250 or more:


(1) Presenting false information or knowingly conceals information regarding a material fact in any of the following transactions:

(A) Application for, rating of, or renewal of an insurance policy or reinsurance contract;

(B) Claim for payment or benefit pursuant to an insurance policy or reinsurance contract;

(C) Premiums paid on an insurance policy or reinsurance contract;

(D) Payment made in accordance with the terms of an insurance policy or reinsurance contract;

(E) Application used in a premium finance transaction;

(F) Solicitation for sale of an insurance policy;

(G) Application for a license or certificate of authority filed with the Commissioner or the chief insurance regulatory official of another jurisdiction;

(H) Financial statement or condition of any insurer or reinsurer;

(I) Acquisition, formation, merger, affiliation, reconsolidation, dissolution, or withdrawal from one or more lines of insurance or reinsurance in the District by an insurer or reinsurer;

(J) Issuance of written evidence of insurance; or

(K) Application for reinstatement of an insurance policy;

(2) Soliciting or accepting insurance or renewal of insurance by or for an insurer which the person knows is insolvent or has a strong likelihood of insolvency;

(3) Removal or tampering with the records of transaction, documentation, and other material assets of an insurer from the insurer or from the Department of Insurance and Securities Regulation;

(4) Diversion, misappropriation, conversion, or embezzlement of funds of an insurer, an insured, claimant or applicant regarding any of the following:

(A) Insurance transaction;

(B) Other insurance business activities by an insurer or insurance professional; or

(C) Acquisition, formation, merger, affiliation or dissolution of an insurer.

(5) Transaction of the business of insurance in violation of laws requiring a license, certificate of authority, or other legal authority for the transaction of the business of insurance; or

(6) Employing or using any other person or acting as the agent of any other person to procure a client, patient, or customer for the purpose of falsely or fraudulently obtaining benefits under a contract of insurance or asserting a false or fraudulent claim against an insured or insurer.


§ 22-3225.03. Insurance fraud in the second degree.


A person commits the offense of insurance fraud in the second degree if that person knowingly engages in conduct specified in § 22-3225.02 with the intent to defraud or to fraudulently obtain property of another and the value of the property which is sought to be obtained is $250 or more.


§ 22-3225.03a. Misdemeanor insurance fraud.


A person commits the offense of misdemeanor insurance fraud if that person knowingly engages in conduct specified in § 22-3225.02 with the intent to defraud or to fraudulently obtain property of another.


§ 22-3225.04. Penalties.


(a) Any person convicted of insurance fraud in the first degree shall be fined not more than $50,000 or imprisoned for not more than 15 years, or both.


(b)(1) Except as provided in paragraph (2) of this subsection, any person convicted of insurance fraud in the second degree shall be fined not more than $10,000 or imprisoned for not more than 5 years, or both.


(2) Any person convicted of insurance fraud in the second degree who has been convicted previously of insurance fraud pursuant to § 22-3225.02 or § 22- 3225.03, or a felony conviction based on similar grounds in any other jurisdiction, shall be fined not more than $20,000 or imprisoned for not more than 10 years, or both.


(c) Any person convicted of misdemeanor insurance fraud shall be fined not more than $1,000 or imprisoned for not more than 180 days, or both.


(d) A person convicted of a felony violation of this subchapter shall be disqualified from engaging in the business of insurance, subject to 18 U.S.C. § 1033(e)(2).


§ 22-3225.05. Restitution.


(a) In addition to the penalties provided under § 22-3225.04, a person convicted under this subchapter shall make monetary restitution for any loss caused by the offense. The court shall determine the form and method of payment which, if by installment, shall not exceed 5 years.


(b) Any person, including the District, injured as the result of an insurance fraud in the first degree may bring suit in the appropriate court to recover ordinary damages including attorney's fees and other costs and punitive damages which shall not be less than $500 nor more than $50,000. Except where punitive damages are sought, the court shall award treble damages where the offense is proven by clear and convincing evidence to be in accordance with an established pattern or practice.


(c) Notwithstanding any action that may be brought by the United States Attorney's office to recoup its costs in prosecuting these cases, the Corporation Counsel may bring a civil suit against any person convicted under this subchapter in order to recover investigation and prosecution-related costs incurred by the District.


(d) A suit under subsection (b) of this section must be filed within 3 years of the act constituting the offense or within 3 years of the time the plaintiff discovered or with reasonable diligence could have discovered the act, whichever is later. This 3 year statute of limitations shall not apply to the District.


(e) Remedies provided in this section shall be exclusive and may not be claimed in conjunction with any other remedies available under the law.


§ 22-3225.06. Indemnity.


An insurer shall not be liable for the following:


(1) Damages or restitution provided by this subchapter, either jointly, severably, or as a third party, for insurance fraud offense committed by an insured; or

(2) The defense of an insured or other person who is charged with insurance fraud.


§ 22-3225.07. Practitioners.


(a) Notwithstanding any other provisions of law, the offenses of insurance fraud in the first degree or the second degree shall be deemed a crime of moral turpitude for the purposes of professional or trade license.


(b) The Commissioner, court, or prosecutor shall notify the appropriate licensing authority, and the person who is injured by the offense may notify the appropriate licensing authority of any conviction.


§ 22-3225.08. Investigation and report of insurance fraud.


(a) Based upon a reasonable belief, an insurer, insurance professional, and any other pertinent person, shall report to the Metropolitan Police Department or the Department of Insurance, Securities, and Banking, actions that may constitute the commission of insurance fraud, and assist in the investigation of insurance fraud by reasonably providing information when required by an investigating authority.


(b) The Commissioner may investigate suspected fraudulent insurance acts and persons engaged in the business of insurance. Nothing in this subchapter shall preempt the authority or relieve the duty of other law enforcement or regulatory agencies to investigate, examine, and prosecute suspected violations of law.


(c) An insurer, insurance professional, or any other pertinent person who fails to reasonably assist the investigation of an insurance fraud or fails to report an insurance fraud, and who is injured by that insurance fraud, shall be estopped from receiving restitution as provided in § 22-3225.05.

(d) Any information, documentation, or other evidence provided under this section by an insurer, its employees, producers, or agents, or by any other person, to the Department of Insurance, Securities, and Banking, the Metropolitan Police Department, or any other law enforcement agency in connection with any investigation of suspected fraud is not subject to public inspection as long as the Commissioner or law enforcement agency deems the withholding to be necessary to complete an investigation of the suspected fraud or to protect the person or entity investigated from unwarranted injury.


(e) Repealed.


§ 22-3225.09. Insurance fraud prevention and detection.


(a) Within 6 months of April 27, 1999, every insurer licensed in the District shall submit to the Department of Insurance and Securities Regulation, an insurance fraud prevention and detection plan ("plan"). The plan shall indicate specific procedures for the accomplishment of the following:


(1) Prevention, detection, and investigation of insurance fraud;

(2) Orientation of employees on insurance fraud prevention and detection;

(3) Employment of fraud investigators;

(4) Reporting of insurance fraud to the appropriate authorities; and

(5) Collection of restitution for financial loss caused by insurance fraud.


(b) The Commissioner may review the plan for compliance with this section and may order reasonable modification or request a summary of the plan. The Commissioner may establish by regulation a fine for an insurer failing to comply with the plan. The plan shall not be deemed a public record for the purposes of any public records or subchapter II of Chapter 5 of Title 2.


(c) Notwithstanding any other provisions of law, an insurer who fails to submit an insurance prevention and detection plan, or the warning provision required by subsection (d) of this section shall be subject to a fine of $500 per day, not to exceed $25,000.


(d) No later than 6 months after April 27, 1999, all insurance application forms and all claim forms shall contain a conspicuous warning in language the same or substantially similar to the following:


"WARNING: It is a crime to provide false or misleading information to an insurer for the purpose of defrauding the insurer or any other person. Penalties include imprisonment and/or fines. In addition, an insurer may deny insurance benefits if false information materially related to a claim was provided by the applicant.".


(e) None of the requirements of this section shall be deemed to apply to reinsurers, reinsurance contracts, reinsurance agreements, or reinsurance claims transactions.


§ 22-3225.10. Regulations.


The Commissioner may promulgate regulations deemed necessary by the Commissioner for the administration of this subchapter.


§ 22-3225.11. Limited law enforcement authority.


(a) The Commissioner shall have the power to issue and serve subpoenas, to compel witnesses to appear and testify, and to produce all books, records, papers, or documents in any insurance investigation or examination.


(b) Any willful false testimony by a witness before the Commissioner as to any material fact shall constitute perjury and shall be punished in the manner prescribed by law for such offense.


(c) If any witness having been personally summoned shall neglect or refuse to obey the subpoena issued pursuant to subsection (a) of this section, the Commissioner may, through the Corporation Counsel, report that fact to the Superior Court of the District of Columbia or one of the judges thereof and the Court, or any judge thereof, may compel obedience to the subpoena to the same extent as witnesses may be compelled to obey the subpoenas of the Court.


(d) The Commissioner may administer oaths to witnesses summoned in any investigation or examination as set forth in subsection (a) of this section.


§ 22-3225.12. Annual anti-fraud activity reporting requirement.

Each insurer and health maintenance organization licensed in the District shall file an annual anti-fraud activity report on March 31st of each year with the Commissioner, which shall contain information about the special investigation unit's insurance fraud activities during the preceding calendar year. Annual anti-fraud activity reports filed with the Commissioner shall be kept confidential and shall not be subject to the disclosure requirements of subchapter II of Chapter 5 of Title 2.


§ 22-3225.13. Immunity.


No person shall be subject to civil liability or criminal prosecution for reporting any suspected insurance fraud if:


(1) The report was made to:

(A) The Department of Insurance, Securities, and Banking, the Metropolitan Police Department, or any other law enforcement authority; or

(B) Any insurer, insurance agent, or other person who collects, reviews, or analyzes information concerning insurance fraud; and

(2) The person or entity reporting the suspected fraud acted without malice when making the report.


§ 22-3225.14. Prohibition of solicitation.


(a)(1) Except as provided in paragraph (2) of this subsection, it is unlawful for a practitioner, whether directly or through a paid intermediary, to solicit for financial gain a client, patient, or customer within 21 days of a motor vehicle accident with the intent to seek benefits under a contract of insurance or to assert a claim against an insured, a governmental entity, or an insurer on behalf of any person arising out of the accident.


(2) The prohibition in paragraph (1) of this subsection does not prohibit:

(A) A practitioner from soliciting a client, patient, or customer by regular mail through the U.S. Postal Service or through the use of general advertising directed to the public;

(B) A practitioner or his agents from contacting a potential client, patient, or customer, or a family member, friend, or coworker of the potential client, patient, or customer, where the practitioner has a preexisting business or personal relationship with the potential client, patient, or customer;

(C) A practitioner or his agents from contacting a potential client, patient, or customer where the contact was initiated by the potential client, patient, or customer, or by a family member, friend, or coworker of the potential client, patient or customer; or

(D) Providing advice and assistance to incarcerated persons in pursuing administrative remedies that may be a prerequisite to suit or in seeking appropriate medical care and treatment.


(b) Except as provided in subsection (a)(2) of this section, it is unlawful for a person to solicit for financial gain a client, patient, or customer within 21 days of a motor vehicle accident for the purpose of directing the client, patient, or customer to a practitioner.


(c) A person or practitioner found by clear and convincing evidence to have violated the provisions of this section shall be subject to a civil penalty of $1,000. The Mayor may increase this penalty by rulemaking.


(d)(1) If a person involved in an automobile accident, or his parent or guardian, executes, within 21 days of a motor vehicle accident, a release of liability, without the assistance or guidance of legal counsel, pursuant to the settlement of a claim for personal injury, that person or his parent or guardian may void the release; provided, that the insurance carrier or other settling party receives written notice of the intent to void the release within 14 days of the date that the release was executed, and the written notice is accompanied by any check or settlement proceeds related to the claim for personal injury that had been delivered to the claimant.


(2) A release of liability executed within 21 days of the accident giving rise to the claim of personal injury by a person who is not represented by counsel shall contain a notice of the claimant's right to rescind conspicuously and separately stated on the release.


(e) The provisions of this section are not severable.


Subchapter III-B. Telephone Fraud.


§ 22-3226.01. Definitions.


For the purposes of this subchapter, the term:

(1) "Applicant" means any individual, sole proprietorship, partnership, association, cooperative, corporation, nonprofit organization, and any other organization required to register with the District to conduct telemarketing in the District of Columbia.

(2) "Certificate of registration" means a document issued by the District government showing that a named individual or business has registered as a telephone solicitor with the Mayor of the District of Columbia.

(3) "Consumer" means a person who is or may be required to pay for goods or services offered by a telephone solicitor through telemarketing.

(4) "Goods" or "services" means any real property or any tangible or intangible personal property or services of any kind provided or offered to a consumer.

(5) "Licensed securities, commodities or investment broker" means a licensed or registered securities, commodities or investment broker.

(6) "Seller" means any person, who, in connection with a telemarketing transaction, provides, offers to provide, or arranges for others to provide goods or services to the customer in exchange for consideration.

(7) "Telemarketing" means a plan, program or campaign which is conducted to induce the purchase of goods or services by use of one or more telephones. Telemarketing does not include a one-time or infrequent transaction unrelated to a pattern of repeated transactions. Telemarketing does not include a telephone call to a consumer:

(A) As a one-time or infrequent transaction unrelated to a pattern of repeated transactions;

(B) To provide information to a consumer and in which payment for the sale of good or services is not accepted in that telephone call;

(C) To administer an existing account or service an existing customer (including product safety recalls);

(D) To respond to a consumer's request; or

(E) In which payment for the sale of good or services is not accepted in that telephone call.

(8) "Telephone solicitor" means a person (acting himself or itself, or through an agent) who initiates a telephone call to a consumer in the District of Columbia as a part of a plan, program, or campaign which is conducted to induce the purchase of goods or services by the use of one or more telephones. A telephone solicitor does not include a person who initiates a telephone call to a consumer:

(A) As a one-time or infrequent transaction unrelated to a pattern of repeated transactions;
(B) To provide information to a consumer and in which payment for the sale of good or services is not accepted in that telephone call;

(C) To administer an existing account or service an existing customer (including product safety recalls);

(D) To respond to a consumer's request; or

(E) Does not accept payment for the sale of good or services in that telephone call.


§ 22-3226.02. Application for a certificate of registration of telephone solicitor.


(a) No person shall transact any business as a telephone solicitor without first having obtained a certificate of registration from the Mayor.


(b) The application for certificate of registration shall be made at least 60 business days prior to offering for sale consumer goods or services by telephone.


(c) The Mayor shall provide an application form for the annual certificate of registration.


(d) The application for a certificate of registration as a telephone solicitor shall include, but not be limited to, the following information:


(1) The true name, current address, telephone number and location of the telephone solicitor and the telemarketing business, including each name and trade name under which the telephone solicitor intends to engage in telephone solicitations;

(2) Each occupation or business that the telemarketing business' principal owner or owners have engaged in for the 2 years immediately preceding the date of the application;

(3) Whether the applicant has been convicted or pled guilty to, or is being prosecuted by indictment for racketeering, violations of state or federal securities laws, or a theft offense;

(4) Whether there has been entered against the applicant an injunction, temporary restraining order or a final judgment in any civil or administrative action involving fraud, theft, racketeering, embezzlement, fraudulent conversion or misappropriation of property, including any pending litigation;

(5) Whether the applicant, at any time during the previous 7 years, has filed for bankruptcy, been adjudged bankrupt or been reorganized because of insolvency;

(6) The true name, mailing address, and date of birth of the following:

(A) Each seller or other person employed by the applicant;

(B) Each person participating in or responsible for the management of the applicant's business;

(C) Each person principally responsible for the management of the applicant's business; and

(7) The name and true address of a registered agent for service of process in the District of Columbia for the applicant's business.


(e) The Mayor shall serve as the registered agent if no registered agent is appointed or if the individual or organization named ceases to serve as the registered agent and no successor is appointed.


(f) The Mayor shall investigate the veracity of an application.


(g) The Mayor shall deny a certificate of registration when the Mayor determines that an application contains false information.


(h) The Mayor shall provide written notification to an applicant when an application has been denied.


(i) The Mayor shall notify the applicant in writing of the information that the Mayor finds to be false.


(j) No person may conduct telemarketing in the District of Columbia without having first obtained a certificate of registration.


(k) The Mayor shall either deny or grant an application within 30 days of the filing of an application.


(l) The Mayor may establish reasonable fees for filing of applications. The Mayor shall make available printed license application forms as well as electronic forms, which may be downloaded by computer.

(m) Certificates of registration issued in accordance with this subchapter shall be valid for one year. Prior to expiration of a certificate of registration, an applicant may obtain a new certificate by the filing of a new application.


(n) If any person has obtained a certificate of registration under false pretenses, including providing false information in an application, the certificate of registration shall be revoked and may be reinstated only upon proof of correction.


§ 22-3226.03. Surety bond requirements for telephone solicitors.


(a) The application for registration or renewal shall be accompanied by a surety bond in the amount of $50,000. The bond shall provide for the indemnification of any person suffering a loss as the result a violation of this subchapter.


(b) The surety may terminate the bond upon giving a 60-day written notice to the principal and to the Mayor.


(c) Unless the bond is replaced by that of another surety before the expiration of the 60-day notice of cancellation, the registration of the principal shall be treated as lapsed.


§ 22-3226.04. Security alternative to surety bonds.


(a) An applicant required under this subchapter to file a bond with a registration application may file with the Mayor, in lieu thereof, a certificate of deposit or government bond in the amount of $50,000.


(b) The Mayor shall hold the certificate of deposit or government bond for 3 years starting from the date the telemarketing business ceases to operate or the registration lapses in order to pay claims made against the telemarketing business during its period of operation after which time the Mayor shall return any remaining balance.


(c) The registration of the telemarketing business shall be treated as lapsed if, at any time, the amount of bond, cash, certificate of deposit or government bonds falls below the amount required by this section.

(d) The surety bond shall remain in effect for 3 years from the period the telemarketing business ceases to operate in the District.


(e) The aggregate liability of the surety company to all persons injured by a telephone solicitor's violations of this subchapter shall not exceed the amount of the bond.


§ 22-3226.05. Exemptions.


(a) A telephone solicitor shall be exempt from the registration and bonding requirements of this subchapter if the telephone solicitor is engaged in any of the following activities:


(1) Telephone solicitation for religious or political purposes, or for a charitable or educational institution, or fundraising for other tax-exempt, nonprofit organizations;

(2) A home solicitation sale that involves a subsequent face to face meeting between the seller and the consumer;

(3) Sales by a licensed securities, commodities, investment broker, or investment advisor when soliciting over the telephone within the scope of the person's license;

(4) A solicitation for the sale of a newspaper of general circulation and other publications that have a predominantly editorial or news-related content;

(5) A solicitation for a sale regulated by the Commodities Futures Trading Commission;

(6) A solicitation for the sale of any goods whenever the person allows a 7-day review period and a full refund within 30 days after the return of such goods to the person;

(7) A solicitation by a financial institution, such as a bank, trust company, a saving and loan association, a credit union, a commercial and consumer finance lender, regulated by the United States government;

(8) A solicitation by an insurance company or other organization that is licensed or authorized to conduct business in the District of Columbia;

(9) A solicitation for the sale of cable television services operating under the authority of a governmental franchise or permit;

(10) Fundraising on behalf of a college or university or any other public or private educational institution;

(11) A solicitation for sales pursuant to a catalog that includes clear disclosure of sales prices, shipping, handling and other charges;

(12) A solicitation by a political subdivision or instrumentality of the United States or any state of the United States, or any public utility that is subject to regulation by the District of Columbia Public Service Commission;

(13) A solicitation by a person who is a licensed travel agent acting within the scope of the agent's license; or

(14) A solicitation by a person who is a licensed real estate broker within the scope of the broker's license.


§ 22-3226.06. Unlawful acts and practices.


(a) A telephone solicitor commits the offense of telephone solicitation fraud when engaged in any one of the following:


(1) Fails to obtain or maintain a valid certificate of registration;

(2) Obtains a certificate of registration through any false or fraudulent pretence or representation in any registration application;

(3) Knowingly fails to have received written consent to use the name of a charitable organization;

(4) Knowingly misrepresents any of the following:

(A) The total cost of the goods or services that are the subject of the telephone solicitation sales call;

(B) Material restrictions, material limitations, or material conditions to the purchase of goods or services that are the subject of a telephone solicitation;

(C) Material aspects of the performance, efficacy, nature or characteristics of goods or services that are the subject of a telephone solicitation; or

(D) Material aspects of the nature of terms of the telephone solicitor's refund, cancellation, exchange or repurchase policies;

(5) Induces a consumer to purchase goods or services by means of a false or fraudulent pretense, representation or promise;

(6) Charges a consumer's checking or savings account without the consumer's express written authorization; or

(7) Procures the services of any professional delivery, courier, or other pickup service to obtain immediate receipt and/or possession of a consumer's payment unless the goods are delivered with the opportunity to inspect before payment is collected.


(b) A person who violates any provision of this section shall be subject to the penalties provided in §§ 22-3226.09 and 22-3226.10.


§ 22-3226.07. Deceptive acts and practices prohibited.


(a) It is a deceptive telemarketing act or practice for any seller or telephone solicitor to misrepresent any of the following material information:


(1) The total purchase cost to the consumer of the goods or services to be received;

(2) The true name of the telephone solicitor; or

(3) Material aspects of the quality or basic characteristics of the goods or services purchased.


(b) It is a deceptive telemarketing act or practice for any seller or telephone solicitor to misrepresent any material fact regarding the goods or services purchased that has a tendency to mislead.


(c) No person shall commit a deceptive telemarketing act or practice.


§ 22-3226.08. Abusive telemarketing acts or practices.


It is an abusive telemarketing act or practice and violation of this subchapter for a seller or telephone solicitor to engage in the following conduct:


(1) Cause a telephone to ring more than 15 times in an intended telephone solicitation call;

(2) Initiate a telephone solicitation call to a consumer after the same consumer has expressly stated that he or she does not wish to receive solicitation calls from that seller; or
(3) Engage in telephone solicitation to a consumer's residence at any time before 8:00 a.m. and after 9:00 p.m., local time at the place of the consumer called.


§ 22-3226.09. Civil penalties.


(a) The following penalties may be imposed in addition to those otherwise available at law:


(1) Any telephone solicitor who violates any provision of this subchapter may be fined up to $1,000 per violation.

(2) A permit or license shall be revoked or suspended if the seller or telephone solicitor fails to comply with the registration requirements of this subchapter.

(3) A judge may impose treble damages against any telephone solicitor who knowingly targets elderly persons or persons with disabilities.


(b) Fines shall be payable to the Fraud Prevention Fund established in § 22- 3226.14.


§ 22-3226.10. Criminal penalties.


Any telephone solicitor who violates § 22-3226.06 and obtains property thereby shall be guilty of the crime of telemarketing fraud, which is punishable as follows:


(1) If the amount of the transaction is valued at $20,000 or more, the seller or telephone solicitor shall upon conviction be guilty of a felony, and shall be subject to a fine of not more than $10,000 or imprisonment for not more than 4 years, or both.

(2) If the amount of the transaction is valued at less than $20,000 but more than $5,000, the seller or telephone solicitor shall upon conviction be guilty of a felony, and shall be subject to a fine of not more than $5,000 or imprisonment for not more than 3 years, or both.

(3) If the amount of the transaction is valued at less than $5,000 or less, the seller or telephone solicitor shall upon conviction be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be subject to a fine of not more than $500 or imprisonment for not more than 6 months, or both.


§ 22-3226.11. Private right of action.

(a) Any consumer injured as a result of a violation of § 22-3226.06, § 22-3226.07, or § 22-3226.08 may bring an action in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia to recover or obtain any of the following:


(1) A declaratory judgment;

(2) Injunctive relief;

(3) Reasonable attorney's fees and costs;

(4) Actual damages;

(5) Punitive damages; and

(6) Any other equitable relief which the court deems proper.


(b) Nothing in this subchapter shall prevent any consumer who is injured by any other trade practice from exercising any right or seeking any remedy to which the consumer might be entitled.


§ 22-3226.12. Statute of limitations period.


Claims for damages or compensation under this subchapter shall be filed within 3 years of the time the seller or telephone solicitor initiated the solicitation telephone call.


§ 22-3226.13. Task force to combat fraud.


(a) The Mayor shall form a task force for the following purposes:


(1) Collecting information on telephone fraud;

(2) Taking steps to educate the public about fraud, including telephone fraud;

(3) Sharing information related to telephone fraud with District government agencies;

(4) Sharing information related to telephone fraud with other state and federal law enforcement agencies; and

(5) Advising the Mayor on enforcement of the provisions of this subchapter.


(b) The task force may include representatives from the following agencies:


(1) Metropolitan Police Department;

(2) Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs;

(3) Office of Corporation Counsel; and

(4) Any other agency the Mayor deems appropriate.


§ 22-3226.14. Fraud Prevention Fund.


(a) There is established a Fraud Prevention Fund ("Fund"). This Fund shall be nonlapsing. Monies in the Fund shall not be commingled with the General Fund, nor shall the operation of the Fund impose a burden or charge on the General Fund.


(b) Monies in the Fund shall consist of fines paid pursuant to this subchapter.


(c) Monies from this fund may be used for the purposes of educating the public regarding fraud and crime prevention, supporting the task force to combat fraud, and enforcing this subchapter.


(d) The District of Columbia Auditor shall perform an annual audit of the Fraud Prevention Fund.


§ 22-3226.15. General disclosures.


(a) Within the first 30 seconds of a telephone call, the telephone solicitor shall identify himself or herself by stating his or her true name, the company on whose behalf the solicitation is being made, and the goods or services to be sold.


(b) Any person who violates this section shall be subject to civil penalties pursuant to § 22-3226.09.

Subchapter III-C. Identity Theft.


§ 22-3227.01. Definitions.


For the purposes of this subchapter, the term:


(1) "Financial injury" means all monetary costs, debts, or obligations incurred by a person as a result of another person obtaining, creating, possessing, or using that person's personal identifying information in violation of this subchapter, including, but not limited to:

(A) The costs of clearing the person's credit rating, credit history, criminal record, or any other official record, including attorney fees;

(B) The expenses related to any civil or administrative proceeding to satisfy or contest a debt, lien, judgment, or other obligation of the person that arose as a result of the violation of this subchapter, including attorney fees;

(C) The costs of repairing or replacing damaged or stolen property; and

(D) Lost time or wages, or any similar monetary benefit forgone while the person is seeking redress for damages resulting from a violation of this subchapter.

(2) "Person" means an individual, whether living or dead.

(3) "Personal identifying information" includes, but is not limited to, the following:

(A) Name, address, telephone number, date of birth, or mother's maiden name;

(B) Driver's license or driver's license number, or non-driver's license or non-driver's license number;

(C) Savings, checking, or other financial account number;

(D) Social security number or tax identification number;

(E) Passport or passport number;

(F) Citizenship status, visa, or alien registration card or number;

(G) Birth certificate or a facsimile of a birth certificate;

(H) Credit or debit card, or credit or debit card number;
(I) Credit history or credit rating;

(J) Signature;

(K) Personal identification number, electronic identification number, password, access code or device, electronic address, electronic identification number, routing information or code, digital signature, or telecommunication identifying information;

(L) Biometric data, such as fingerprint, voice print, retina or iris image, or other unique physical representation;

(M) Place of employment, employment history, or employee identification number; and

(N) Any other numbers or information that can be used to access a person's financial resources, access medical information, obtain identification, act as identification, or obtain property.

(4) "Property" shall have the same meaning as provided in § 22-3201(3) and shall include credit.


§ 22-3227.02. Identity theft.


A person commits the offense of identity theft if that person knowingly:


(1) Uses personal identifying information belonging to or pertaining to another person to obtain, or attempt to obtain, property fraudulently and without that person's consent; or

(2) Obtains, creates, or possesses personal identifying information belonging to or pertaining to another person with the intent to:

(A) Use the information to obtain, or attempt to obtain, property fraudulently and without that person's consent; or

(B) Give, sell, transmit, or transfer the information to a third person to facilitate the use of the information by that third person to obtain, or attempt to obtain, property fraudulently and without that person's consent.


§ 22-3227.03. Penalties for identity theft.


(a) Identity theft in the first degree. -- Any person convicted of identity theft shall be fined not more than (1) $10,000, (2) 3 times the value of the property obtained or (3) 3 times the amount of the financial injury, whichever is greatest, or imprisoned for not more than 10 years, or both, if the property obtained, or attempted to be obtained, or the amount of the financial injury is $250 or more.


(b) Identity theft in the second degree. -- Any person convicted of identity theft shall be fined not more than $1,000 or imprisoned for not more than 180 days, or both, if the value of the property obtained, or attempted to be obtained, or the amount of the financial injury, whichever is greater, is less than $250.


(c) Enhanced penalty. -- Any person who commits the offense of identity theft against an individual who is 65 years of age or older, at the time of the offense, may be punished by a fine of up to 1 1/2 times the maximum fine otherwise authorized for the offense and may be imprisoned for a term of up to 1 1/2 times the maximum term of imprisonment otherwise authorized for the offense, or both. It is an affirmative defense that the accused:


(1) Reasonably believed that the victim was not 65 years of age or older at the time of the offense; or

(2) Could not have determined the age of the victim because of the manner in which the offense was committed.


§ 22-3227.04. Restitution.


When a person is convicted of identity theft, the court may, in addition to any other applicable penalty, order restitution for the full amount of financial injury.


§ 22-3227.05. Correction of public records.


(a) When a person is convicted, adjudicated delinquent, or found not guilty by reason of insanity of identity theft, the court may issue such orders as are necessary to correct any District of Columbia public record that contains false information as a result of a violation of this subchapter.


(b) In all other cases, a person who alleges that he or she is a victim of identity theft may petition the court for an expedited judicial determination that a District of Columbia public record contains false information as a result of a violation of this subchapter. Upon a finding of clear and convincing evidence that the person was a victim of identity theft, the court may issue such orders as are necessary to correct any District of Columbia public record that contains false information as a result of a violation of this subchapter.


(c) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, District of Columbia agencies shall comply with orders issued under subsection (a) of this section within 30 days of issuance of the order.


(d) For the purposes of this section, the term "District of Columbia public record" means any document, book, photographic image, electronic data recording, paper, sound recording, or other material, regardless of physical form or characteristic, made or received pursuant to law or in connection with the transaction of public business by any officer or employee of the District of Columbia.


§ 22-3227.06. Jurisdiction.


The offense of identity theft shall be deemed to be committed in the District of Columbia, regardless of whether the offender is physically present in the District of Columbia, if:


(1) The person whose personal identifying information is improperly obtained, created, possessed, or used is a resident of the District of Columbia; or

(2) Any part of the offense takes place in the District of Columbia.


§ 22-3227.07. Limitations.


Obtaining, creating, possessing, and using a person's personal identifying information in violation of this subchapter shall constitute a single scheme or course of conduct, and the applicable period of limitation under § 23-113 shall not begin to run until after the scheme or course of conduct has been completed or terminated.


§ 22-3227.08. Police reports


The Metropolitan Police Department shall make a report of each complaint of identity theft and provide the complainant with a copy of the report.

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D.C. Drug Offenses:


With long prison sentences of up to 30 years, it is not hard to see why there are so many people in prison. In state prisons alone there were 249,400 inmates five years ago and the numbers keep on rising. In federal prison there are approximately 100,000 people serving long drug sentences. Indeed, if you are a tax payer you know that you don’t want anyone convicted of a drug crime so they can be sent to prison and receive free medical care, including drugs.

In the District of Columbia it is unlawful for any person knowingly or intentionally to manufacture, distribute, or possess, with intent to manufacture or distribute, a controlled substance.


(2) Any person who violates this subsection with respect to:

(A) A controlled substance classified in Schedule I or II that is a narcotic or abusive drug shall be imprisoned for not more than 30 years or fined not more than $500,000, or both;

(B) Any other controlled substance classified in Schedule I, II, or III, except for a narcotic or abusive drug, is guilty of a crime and upon conviction may be imprisoned for not more than 5 years, fined not more than $50,000, or both; except that upon conviction of manufacturing, distributing or possessing with intent to distribute 1/2 pound or less of marijuana, a person who has not previously been convicted of manufacturing, distributing or possessing with intent to distribute a controlled substance or attempting to manufacture, distribute, or possess with intent to distribute a controlled substance may be imprisoned for not more than 180 days or fined not more than $1000 or both;

(C) A substance classified in Schedule IV, is guilty of a crime and upon conviction may be imprisoned for not more than 3 years, fined not more than $25,000, or both; or

(D) A substance classified in Schedule V, is guilty of a crime and upon conviction may be imprisoned for not more than one year, fined not more than $10,000, or both.


(b)(1) Except as authorized by this chapter, it is unlawful for any person to create, distribute, or possess with intent to distribute a counterfeit substance.


(2) Any person who violates this subsection with respect to:

(A) A counterfeit substance classified in Schedule I or II that is a narcotic or abusive drug shall be imprisoned for not more than 30 years or fined not more than $500,000, or both;

(B) Any other counterfeit substance classified in Schedule I, II, or III, except for a narcotic or abusive drug, is guilty of a crime and upon conviction may be imprisoned for not more than 5 years, fined not more than $50,000, or both;

(C) A counterfeit substance classified in Schedule IV, is guilty of a crime and upon conviction may be imprisoned for not more than 3 years, fined not more than $25,000, or both; or

(D) A counterfeit substance classified in Schedule V, is guilty of a crime and upon conviction may be imprisoned for not more than 1 year, fined not more than $10,000, or both.


(c) Repealed.


(d) It is unlawful for any person knowingly or intentionally to possess a controlled substance unless the substance was obtained directly from, or pursuant to, a valid prescription or order of a practitioner while acting in the course of his or her professional practice, or except as otherwise authorized by this chapter. Any person who violates this subsection is guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction may be imprisoned for not more than 180 days, fined not more than $1,000, or both.


(e)(1) If any person who has not previously been convicted of violating any provision of this chapter, or any other law of the United States or any state relating to narcotic or abusive drugs or depressant or stimulant substances is found guilty of a violation of subsection (d) of this section and has not previously been discharged and had the proceedings dismissed pursuant to this subsection, the court may, without entering a judgment of guilty and with the consent of such person, defer further proceedings and place him or her on probation upon such reasonable conditions as it may require and for such period, not to exceed one year, as the court may prescribe. Upon violation of a condition of the probation, the court may enter an adjudication of guilt and proceed as otherwise provided. The court may, in its discretion, dismiss the proceedings against such person and discharge him or her from probation before the expiration of the maximum period prescribed for such person's probation. If during the period of probation such person does not violate any of the conditions of the probation, then upon expiration of such period the court shall discharge such person and dismiss the proceedings against him or her. Discharge and dismissal under this subsection shall be without court adjudication of guilt, but a nonpublic record thereof shall be retained solely for the purpose of use by the courts in determining whether or not, in subsequent proceedings, such person qualifies under this subsection. Such discharge or dismissal shall not be deemed a conviction for purposes of disqualifications or disabilities imposed by law upon conviction of a crime (including the penalties prescribed under § 48-904.08 for second or subsequent convictions) or for any other purpose.


(2) Upon the dismissal of such person and discharge of the proceedings against him under paragraph (1) of this subsection, such person may apply to the court for an order to expunge from all official records (other than the nonpublic records to be retained under paragraph (1) of this subsection) all recordation relating to his or her arrest, indictment or information, trial, finding of guilty, and dismissal and discharge pursuant to this subsection. If the court determines, after hearing, that such person was dismissed and the proceedings against him or her discharged, it shall enter such order. The effect of such order shall be to restore such person, in the contemplation of this law, to the status he or she occupied before such arrest or indictment or information. No person as to whom such order has been entered shall be held thereafter under any provision of any law to be guilty of perjury or otherwise giving a false statement by reason of failure to recite or acknowledge such arrest, or indictment, or trial in response to any inquiry made of him or her for any purpose.


(f) The prosecutor may charge any person who violates the provisions of subsection (a) or (b) of this section relating to the distribution of or possession with intent to distribute a controlled or counterfeit substance with a violation of subsection (d) of this section if the interests of justice so dictate.


(g) For the purposes of this section, "offense" means a prior conviction for a violation of this section or a felony that relates to narcotic or abusive drugs, marijuana, or depressant or stimulant drugs, that is rendered by a court of competent jurisdiction in the United States.


§ 48-904.02. Prohibited acts B; penalties.


(a) It is unlawful for any person:


(1) Who is subject to subchapter III of this chapter to distribute or dispense a controlled substance in violation of § 48-903.08;

(2) Who is a registrant, to manufacture a controlled substance not authorized by registration, or to distribute or dispense a controlled substance not authorized by registration to another registrant or other authorized person;

(3) To refuse or fail to make, keep or furnish any record, notification, order form, statement, invoice, or information required under this chapter;

(4) To refuse an entry into any premises for any inspection authorized by this chapter;

(5) Knowingly to keep or maintain any store, shop, warehouse, dwelling, building, vehicle, boat, aircraft, or other structure or place, which is resorted to by persons using controlled substances in violation of this chapter for the purpose of using these substances or which is used for keeping or selling them in violation of this chapter;

(6) Who is a law-enforcement official, as designated by the Mayor, or a designated civilian employee of the Metropolitan Police Department, to divulge any knowledge relating to the records, order forms, or prescriptions of registrants which he or she received by virtue of his or her office, except in connection with officially authorized duties or in connection with a prosecution or proceeding in court or before a licensing or registration board or officer, to which prosecution or proceeding the registrant to whom such records, order forms, or prescriptions relate is a party; or

(7) To use to his or her own advantage or to reveal, other than to duly authorized officers or employees of the District of Columbia or the United States, or to the courts when relevant in any judicial proceeding under this subchapter or subchapter III of this chapter, any information acquired in the course of an authorized inspection concerning any method or process which as a trade secret is entitled to protection.


(b) Except as provided for in subsection (c) of this section, any person who violates this section shall, with respect to any violation, be subject to a civil penalty of not more than $50,000.


(c) If a violation of this section is prosecuted by an information or indictment which alleges that the violation was committed knowingly and the trier of fact specifically finds that the violation was so committed, such person shall be guilty of a crime and upon conviction may be imprisoned for not more than one year, fined not more than $50,000, or both.


§ 48-904.03. Prohibited acts C; penalties.


(a) It is unlawful for any person knowingly or intentionally:


(1) To distribute as a registrant a controlled substance classified in Schedule I or II, except pursuant to an order form as required by § 48-903.07;

(2) To use in the course of the manufacture or distribution of a controlled substance a registration number which is fictitious, revoked, suspended, or issued to another person;

(3) To acquire or obtain possession of a controlled substance by misrepresentation, fraud, forgery, deception, or subterfuge;

(4) To furnish false or fraudulent material information in, or omit any material information from, any application, report, or other document required to be kept or filed under this chapter, or any record required to be kept by this chapter; or

(5) To make, distribute, or possess any punch, die, plate, stone, or other thing designed to print, imprint, or reproduce the trademark, trade name, or other identifying mark, imprint, or device of another or any likeness of any of the foregoing upon any drug or container or labeling thereof so as to render the drug a counterfeit substance.


(b) Any person who violates this section is guilty of a crime and upon conviction may be imprisoned for not more than 4 years, fined not more than $50,000, or both.


§ 48-904.03a. Prohibited acts D; penalties.


(a) It shall be unlawful for any person to knowingly open or maintain any place to manufacture, distribute, or store for the purpose of manufacture or distribution a narcotic or abusive drug.


(b) Any person who violates this section shall be imprisoned for not less than 5 years nor more than 25 years, fined not more than $500,000, or both.


§ 48-904.04. Penalties under other laws.


Any penalty imposed for violation of this chapter is in addition to, and not in lieu of, any civil or administrative penalty or sanction otherwise authorized by law.


§ 48-904.05. Effect of acquittal or conviction under federal law.


No person shall be prosecuted for a violation of any provision of this chapter if such person has been acquitted or convicted under any United States statute governing the sale or distribution of controlled substances of the same act or omission which is alleged to constitute a violation of this chapter.


§ 48-904.06. Distribution to minors.


(a) Any person who is 21 years of age or over and who violates § 48- 904.01(a) by distributing a controlled substance which is listed in Schedule I or II and which is a narcotic drug, phencyclidine, or a phencyclidine immediate precursor to a person who is under 18 years of age may be punished by the fine authorized by § 48-904.01(a)(2)(A), by a term of imprisonment of up to twice that authorized by § 48-904.01(a)(2)(A), or by both.


(b) Any person who is 21 years of age or over and who violates § 48- 904.01(a) by distributing for remuneration any other controlled substance which is listed in Schedule I, II, III, IV, or V, except for phencyclidine or a phencyclidine immediate precursor, to a person who is under 18 years of age may be punished by the fine authorized by § 48-904.01(a)(2)(B), (C), or (D), respectively, by a term of imprisonment up to twice that authorized by § 48- 904.01(a)(2)(B), (C), or (D), respectively, or both.


§ 48-904.07. Enlistment of minors to distribute.


(a) Any person who is 21 years of age or over and who enlists, hires, contracts, or encourages any person under 18 years of age to sell or distribute any controlled substance, in violation of § 48-904.01(a), for the profit or benefit of such person who enlists, hires, contracts, or encourages this criminal activity shall be punished for sale or distribution in the same manner as if that person directly sold or distributed the controlled substance.


(b) Anyone found guilty of subsection (a) of this section shall be subject to the following additional penalties:


(1) Upon a first conviction the party may be imprisoned for not more than 10 years, fined not more than $10,000, or both;

(2) Upon a second or subsequent conviction, the party may be imprisoned for not more than 20 years, fined not more than $20,000, or both.


§ 48-904.07a. Drug free zones.


(a) All areas within 1000 feet of an appropriately identified public or private day care center, elementary school, vocational school, secondary school, junior college, college, or university, or any public swimming pool, playground, video arcade, youth center, or public library, or in and around public housing, as defined in section 3(1) of the United States Housing Act of 1937, approved August 22, 1974 (88 Stat. 654; 42 U.S.C. § 1437a(b)), the development or administration of which is assisted by Department of Housing and Urban Development, or in or around housing that is owned, operated, or financially assisted by the District of Columbia Housing Authority, or an event sponsored by any of the above entities shall be declared a drug free zone. For the purposes of this subsection, the term "appropriately identified" means that there is a sign that identifies the building or area as a drug free zone.


(b) Any person who violates § 48-904.01(a) by distributing or possessing with the intent to distribute a controlled substance which is listed in Schedule I, II, III, IV, or V within a drug free zone shall be punished by a fine up to twice that otherwise authorized by this chapter to be imposed, by a term of imprisonment up to twice that otherwise imposed, or both.


§ 48-904.08. Second or subsequent offenses.


(a) Any person convicted of a second or subsequent offense under this chapter may be imprisoned for a term up to twice the term otherwise authorized, fined an amount up to twice that otherwise authorized, or both.


(b) For purposes of this section, an offense is considered a second or subsequent offense if, prior to commission of the offense, the offender has at any time been convicted under this chapter or under any statute of the United States or of any state relating to narcotic drugs, depressants, stimulants, or hallucinogenic drugs.


(c) A person who is convicted of violating § 48-904.06 may be sentenced according to the provisions of § 48-904.06 or according to the provisions of this section, but not both.


§ 48-904.09. Attempt; conspiracy.


Any person who attempts or conspires to commit any offense defined in this subchapter is punishable by imprisonment or fine or both which may not exceed the maximum punishment prescribed for the offense, the commission of which was the object of the attempt or conspiracy.


§ 48-904.10. Possession of drug paraphernalia.


Whoever, except for a physician, dentist, chiropodist, or veterinarian licensed in the District of Columbia or a state, registered nurse, registered embalmer, manufacturer or dealer in embalming supplies, wholesale druggist, industrial user, official of any government having possession of the proscribed articles by reason of his or her official duties, nurse or medical laboratory technician acting under the direction of a physician or dentist, employees of a hospital or medical facility acting under the direction of its superintendent or officer in immediate charge, person engaged in chemical, clinical, pharmaceutical or other scientific research, acting in the course of their professional duties, has in his or her possession a hypodermic needle, hypodermic syringe, or other instrument that has on or in it any quantity (including a trace) of a controlled substance with intent to use it for administration of a controlled substance by subcutaneous injection in a human being shall be fined not more than $1000 or imprisoned for not more than 180 days, or both.

Legal Tips

Pick a topic below:

General Legal Rights
Car Stops
If You Are Arrested, Or The Police Will Not Let You Leave
If The Police Come To Your House
 


General Legal Rights

In general, if you are stopped by the police remember that anything you say can be used against you. Do not comment on the police officer’s performance, competence or anything else that can be used as a reason to arrest you.

It's not a crime to refuse to answer questions, but refusing to answer can make the police suspicious about you. If asked for your name and address you are required to give it. If your name would incriminate you, you have the right to remain silent and refuse to give it.

  1. Treat the police respectfully. Never touch an officer.
     
  2. There is nothing to be gained by arguing with the police. The police are hired to keep the peace and arrest people who break the law. Part of their duties is to build a case to convict a person - don’t help them.
     
  3. Always keep your hands where the police can see them.
     
  4. Never run - police are trained to chase and catch you and you could be charged with another crime.
     
  5. If the police believe you have a weapon, they are permitted to search you. Don’t physically resist. Do state that you do not consent to any search.
     
  6. If you are innocent, the court will likely set you free. If you resist arrest, that is something else you can be charged with. Don’t resist arrest.
     
  7. Don’t threaten the police. Don’t tell them you will be filing a complaint. Don’t do the judges job and tell them they are wrong. Patience is the key.
     
  8. Don’t make any statements regarding the incident. Ask if you are free to go. If not, ask for a lawyer.
     
  9. If you are told that you are under arrest, ask why.
     
  10. Commit to memory the officer’s name, badge number, and car number. Try to remember the time and place. Look for witnesses in windows and in the area.
     
  11. Write down everything you remember for your lawyer as soon as you can.
     
  12. If you are injured, immediately get pictures and medical treatment.
     
  13. If your rights have been violated, file a complaint as soon as possible with the police department’s internal affairs or citizen board.

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Car Stops

  1. You are required to show your driver's license, proof of insurance and registration when stopped in a car. Otherwise, you do not have to answer any questions if you are detained or arrested, except the police may ask you for your name if you have been properly detained, and you can be arrested in some states for refusing to give it. If you reasonably fear that your name is incriminating, you can claim the right to remain silent, which may be a defense in case you are arrested anyway. Never give a false name.
     
  2. In certain cases, your car can be searched without a warrant as long as the police have probable cause. To protect yourself later, you should make it clear that you do not consent to a search. It is not lawful for police to arrest you simply for refusing to consent to a search.
     
  3. There is no reason to consent to any search of yourself, your car or your house. If the police say they have a warrant, you are entitled to see it. Always ask to see the warrant. If the police say you are not free to leave while they get a warrant - ask for a lawyer.
     
  4. Never interfere with, or obstruct the police -- you can be arrested for it.
     
  5. If you are asked to sign that you have received a ticket, you should sign it; otherwise you can be arrested. You can always fight the case in court later.
     
  6. If you are suspected of operating your car while impaired (OWI) or drunk driving (DWI) and refuse to take a blood, urine or breath test, your driver's license may be suspended. Everyone operating a motor vehicle within the District of Columbia is presumed to have consented to having their Blood Alcohol Content tested by two of the following tests: blood, urine, or breath.
     
  7. If, after being informed of the consequences, you refuse to submit to one of the BAC tests, your license to drive in D.C. will be revoked for 12 months. This penalty requires a sworn statement by the officer that he had reasonable grounds to believe that the driver would have tested greater than .08. Test refusal is also admissible as evidence in court.
     
  8. You do not have to perform the field sobriety test. You have the legal right to refuse to take a field sobriety test. A good way to refuse taking a field sobriety test—or anything that a police officer asked you to do—is to say, “I’d like to speak to an attorney first.” If the officer has asked you to perform a field sobriety test he has probably already decided to arrest you and is just building his case.

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If You Are Arrested or The Police Will Not Let You Leave

  1. You have the right to remain silent and to talk to a lawyer before you talk to the police. Tell the police nothing except your name and address. Do not give any explanations, excuses or stories. You can make your defense later, in court, based on what you and your lawyer decide is best.
     
  2. Ask to see a lawyer immediately. If you can not pay for a lawyer, you have a right to a free one, and should ask the police how the lawyer can be contacted. Do not say anything without a lawyer.
     
  3. Within a reasonable time after your arrest, or booking, you have the right to make a local phone call: to a lawyer, bail bondsman, a relative or any other person. The police may not listen to the call to the lawyer.
     
  4. You must be taken before the judge on the next court day after arrest.
     
  5. Do not make any decisions in your case until you have talked with a lawyer.

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If The Police Come to Your House

  1. If the police knock and ask to enter your home, you do not have to admit them unless they have a warrant signed by a judge.
     
  2. However, in some emergency situations (a person is screaming for help inside, or when the police are chasing someone) officers are allowed to enter and search your home without a warrant.
     
  3. If you are arrested, the police can search you and the area close by. If you are in a building, "close by" usually means just the room you are in.

 

Contact Us

 

William P. Farley has experience in preparing appeals and representing those arrested. There is no charge for a free consultation and we hope we can help you. If you need an appeal because you have been wrongly convicted, we have a set schedule we can work with to make sure that you can get your appeal filed. Call us at (202) 558-6768 to see how your appeal can be filed.

We keep all information strictly confidential. We will respond to the email address you provide. If the address is inaccurate, we can not respond. If you do not hear from us, please double check your email address and resend your contact information.

If you need immediate help, call (202) 558-6768. Toll free (877) 840-0639.


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